Mission: Kill Kyoto

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“The U.N. Global Climate Treaty isn’t global” — because it doesn’t exist yet. The treaty is to be negotiated in Kyoto, Japan next month by more than 100 countries who signed the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) at the so-called Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

This ad, one of a series of five, was produced by the Global Climate Information Project, a $13 million industry-funded advertising campaign led by Shandwick Public Affairs, a Washington, D.C., P.R. firm. Their goal: to undermine the Kyoto treaty and any other attempts to limit CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, emissions that have been linked to anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change.

The most interesting aspect of this ad is that it reflects a change in strategy by the fossil fuels industry: Where they once argued that the science of climate change is unproven, now they complain that a global agreement to cut greenhouse emissions will create an unfair and unbearable economic burden for the United States. (With 4 percent of the world’s population, the U.S. generates about 22 percent of all greenhouse gases). This change of approach may have less to do with the growing scientific consensus that climate change is real and underway, than with polls showing a majority of the U.S. public now believes global warming is real, and wants preventative action to be taken.

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This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

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